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Match Reports

Report: Stevenage 3-1 Walsall

8 January 2022

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Jim Steele

Stevenage Football Club’s early two-goal lead is boosted by a last minute third as Paul Tisdale’s men walk away with all three points…

In Stevenage’s first match at The Lamex in 2022, Paul Tisdale introduced three new signings into the starting eleven. Christie Pym, Luke O’Neill and the returning Michael Bostwick all made the team.

After just twenty-four seconds, Boro took the lead. Debutant right back Luke O’Neill fizzed in a cross which was tapped in by Walsall’s Rollin Menayese. An incredibly bright for Tisdale’s men.

The momentum would continue to go Stevenage’s way as just eight minutes later, the lead was doubled. A nice passage of play on the outside of the area led to Jake Reeves picking the ball up on the right-hand side and whipping a cross into Chris Lines at the back post who nodded home.

The next ten minutes of the game turned scrappy as the heavens opened and the rain started to pour. Neither side applied large amounts of pressure on the opposition goalkeeper as Boro looked to keep a hold of their early lead.

Just before the half-hour mark, Walsall had their first sight on goal. A corner was initially headed clear with Stephen Ward waiting on the edge of the box, but his first-time effort deflected out for another corner.

Scott Cuthbert picked up Stevenage’s first yellow card for pulling back a Walsall player on the edge of the box. The resulting free kick was sent into the area but ultimately cleared by Boro’s determined defence.

With five minutes to go until the interval, Stevenage were forced into a substitution as Michael Bostwick went down with what appeared to be cramp. Replacing him was yet another new signing, central midfielder Ed Upson.

In the dying moments of the first half, Stevenage had another attempt on goal. The ball fell to Jake Taylor, who was playing a more attacking role in this game, but his left footed effort flew just wide of the post.

Moments into the second half, Boro created yet another chance at goal. Jake taylor played in Luke Norris in the area whose powerful strike was well caught by Carl Rushworth.

Six minutes later, Walsall were on the front foot as they aimed to crawl back into the game. Conor Wilkinson looked to get one back, but Christy Pym was able to watch his tame effort role past the post.

Charlie Carter was brought onto The Lamex pitch after the hour mark for the first time since August, replacing Bruno Andrade.

With twenty minutes to go, Walsall grabbed a goal back. Brendan Kiernan’s low effort from the left-hand side found its way past Pym in goal, with The Saddlers now one goal away from a come-back.

Matt Taylor’s men continued to put the pressure on as seven minutes late Conor Wilkinson came close to equalising. His looming effort appeared to be creeping in at the back post, but Christy Pym denied.

Nine minutes remained and Luke Norris was replaced by Terence Vancooten in a defensive substitution, in the hopes of retaining their lead.

A few minutes later, Boro came extremely close to killing the game off. Charlie Carter’s headed effort bounced off the crossbar, allowing the Saddlers to remain hopeful.

The Fourth Official indicated four minutes to be played at the end of the game as Boro looked to remain defensively solid. Finally, the hard work paid off as Stevenage added a third. Jake Taylor drove with the ball to the byline before knocking it past Rushworth to get his first of the season.

Seconds later, Mr Oldham blew his whistle to end an entertaining clash at The Lamex and send the Boro faithful home smiling. Paul Tisdale earned his first win as Stevenage Boss and his side kicked 2022 off at The Lamex in the correct way.

Attendance today was 2167 with 338 Walsall supporters.

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